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Keywords:

  • topography;
  • LiDAR

Lidar (light detection and ranging), a method by which the precise time of flight of emitted pulses of laser energy is measured and converted to distance for reflective targets, has helped scientists make topographic maps of Earth's surface at scales as fine as centimeters. These maps have allowed the discovery and analysis of myriad otherwise unstudied features, such as fault scarps, river channels, and even ancient ruins [Glennie et al., 2013b].